Effective and easy ways to help my puppy’s hyper-vigilance and nervousness?

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/a0ajbr/effective_and_easy_ways_to_help_my_puppys/

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I’ve had my 10 month old puppy for about 8 months now and we’ve been working on her reactivity and nervousness for most of it. She’s at best that I can guess a rat terrier/min pin mix so I assume there’s a good degree of genetics at play, plus she was bought from Craig’s list with a dubious past.

Here’s some background on her reactivity. She was a rather fearless puppy (she received her fair share of socialization to all types of people, dogs and places continuously) but at about 3 months old, she started to bark and growl at strangers. Turns out she had a bladder infection that didn’t fully go away for ~1.5 months. Since then it’s been catch up on getting her to be confident again. At about 4 months old, she was terrified of most things. She’d bark at anyone new, wouldn’t let anyone really touch her besides me, scared of dogs, and reactive to strange noises. Only thing I could rely on was that new environments didn’t seem to trigger her very much.

Immediately, I worked on making all her triggers fun at a distance. Anytime we’d see a person on a walk, it’d be party central with the treats. She’d meet my friends one at a time to get some interaction with strangers. We’d do sound parties where new sounds got her a treat. We’d have meet ups with well behaved dogs. At this point in time, she’s a huge dog lover and usually only takes a few minutes, if at all, to fully warm up to any dog (assuming they’re not overly exuberant and big). Meeting new people can either cause her to bark for a minute until she says hello or she immediately says hello. Her reactivity to noises has decreased although still causes issues. Overall, she’s had major improvements that I’m so proud of.

But we’ve hit a wall in progressing further and there’s been some episodes of regression (which I know is normal in learning) but I was wondering what I can do to really push her over into a relaxed and confident dog. She still isn’t fully relaxed most of the time, she can have some jealously issues with me, reactive to many house noises and worst of all she won’t pee or poop in a new location. She almost never pees on a walk, but pooping is more common if there is grass. For example, I recently dog sat at a friend’s house and brought her along since our dogs get along. She wouldn’t pee the first day no matter how long I took her outside. She pooped in the house multiple times despite multiple bathroom opportunities and successes. She ended up peeing on their bed on the last day (after I thought she had figured out where outside was and had many successful bathroom trips). I can tell she isn’t settled enough to go outside and I’m at a loss on how to fix this.

Any advice on how you guys worked through similar issues with a strong willed and nervous puppy?

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